Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lemony Chicken-Lentil Soup with Couscous #SundaySupper

From the first weekend of October through to the end of January, our household lives off of leftovers. Between Thanksgiving, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas parties and Christmas Eve, almost every week gives us another gastronomic adventure. By the time February rolls around, we feel like we're rolling around as well!

Of course, the best part about any of these holiday indulgence meals is the leftovers they provide. As a kid, I'd enjoy my portion of turkey and mashed potatoes like everyone else, dressed up in the holiday finery, but the next day's open-face sandwich for lunch was my jam - thick slices of homemade Challah (after Christmas) or dense storebought sourdough bread, toasted, smeared with cranberry sauce and piled with cold turkey before getting a generous ladle of hot gravy. Inexplicably, the turkey (even the breast meat) re-hydrated overnight in the fridge, and along with the gravy pour made for a melt in your mouth texture we never got Day 1.

Lemony Chicken, Couscous and Lentil Soup

As the years (and additional holiday meals) added up, the rich gravy/bread leftover enjoyment lost its luster somewhat. Now, our favourite way to get rid of extra meat and veggies is to rework them into various soups, stir fries or pasta dishes, each with a little bit of a "lighter" taste even though they are still filling and warming. This soup is one of those recipes that is perfect for clearing out the fridge of the veggies not used for the main meal as well as a good chunk of leftover meat. In addition to the "meat and three" combination, I added some whole grain Israeli couscous and leftover lentils for some extra oomph (aka fibre, nutrition and bulk) and picked up the "leftover" flavour with a shot of bright lemon. The result was semi-Greek in flavour, but more than that it was something easy to enjoy daily for lunch without feeling like it was "turkey again"!

#SundaySupper this week is all about embracing (and sometimes hiding) those leftover bits and pieces of the holiday meal. Whether you're gearing up for the big meal this week or are thinking ahead to December, you're sure to find something great!












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Lemony Chicken-Lentil Soup with Couscous
Serves 8
1 tbsp olive oil
3 leeks, white and light green parts sliced into half moons and cleaned
5 carrots, diced
5 stalks celery, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded zucchini
8 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried lemon thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
10 oz frozen chopped spinach
1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous (or millet for GF)
1 cup cooked lentils (I used green lentils)
2 cups cooked and chopped skinless chicken or turkey thighs
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks wilt - about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook 3-4 minutes, until zucchini begins to brown.
  4. Add the broth, herbs, salt, pepper and lemon zest and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until vegetables are cooked.
  6. Stir in spinach, couscous, lentils and chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until couscous is done - about 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Adjust seasoning and serve
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 265.7
Total Fat: 6.0 g
Cholesterol: 34.7 mg
Sodium: 612.4 mg
Total Carbs: 36.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.5 g
Protein: 16.6 g

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